I just finished reading Friends Like These by Danny Wallace. I picked it up at the library because the concept sounded interesting. If you decided to read this book, I must warn you, DO NOT read this book in public. Unless you don’t care about people looking at you wondering if you belong locked up because this is seriously, by a long shot, the funniest book I have ever read…ever.
Danny Wallace is about to turn the big 3-0. Shortly before his birthday he comes across his childhood address book. In the address book are 12 names of long lost friends, none of which he is still in contact with. He decides to take on the task to reconnect with all 12 friends and update their addresses before his birthday. The process takes him from where he lives in London to all corners of the world, including, Australia, LA, and Berlin. Part of the intrigue of this book was because he did so without Facebook or MySpace, as we all do nowadays. He used the good old fashion telephone in most cases or by simply sending an email or by calling his mother!
Wallace captures your attention by reminiscing about his childhood and the memories he has of each friend as he encounters them. And through the hysterical stories that happen to him along the way. You will find yourself laughing out loud throughout most of this book however there is a slight serious side to it. It makes you really think about the friends you have and the ones you’ve lost, and why you’ve lost them. In the author’s own words he says:
“Friends are a marker of time. And the friendships you make are a marker of life. We’re proud of our friends. We’re proud of the unwritten contract – we’ve chosen them, and they’ve chosen us. No one had to. We all wanted to. Friends define us, and we walk or trip or stumble through life just as they do. When a good friendship ends…maybe it wasn’t a good friendship. Or maybe it can be started up again just as easily.”
I can’t recommend this book enough, not because of the outrageous humor but because he examines the relationships that we call “friendship” and how they are come to be. You probably are wondering did he meet all 12 friends, well you know I wouldn’t give that away. But you will read this book and think about your friends both present and past and how they shaped your childhood and current adult life. And it will remind you that good friendships are irreplaceable and no matter where life takes you, you should never let them slip away.
Next Book: It’s Not That I’m Bitter by Gina Barreca